Attorney General John M. Formella, Greater Rochester Community Health Foundation (“GRCHF”), and FMH Health Services, LLC, a company operated by HCA Healthcare, Inc., (“HCA Healthcare”) announce that they have reached an agreement regarding the closure of labor and delivery services at Frisbie Memorial Hospital that will provide critical assistance to the Greater Rochester, New Hampshire community, including women and families affected by the closure.
The agreement will make available to GRCHF $2.75 million in support of its mission to improve the health and well-being of people residing in the Greater Rochester community, with $750,000 in new funds to address critical public health needs in the Greater Rochester community.
“Our office is acutely aware of the challenges Granite Staters face due to the many recent closures of labor and delivery units,” said Attorney General Formella. “HCA Healthcare’s release of funds and contribution to GRHCF will provide an immediate infusion of resources to help ensure that members of the Greater Rochester community can continue to access these vital services. We appreciate all parties’ willingness to come to the table to reach an agreement that directs resources to community support.”
“As a foundation with a mission to improve the health and well-being of the people of Strafford County, the Greater Rochester Community Health Foundation wants to ensure that the community has access to high-quality health care programs and services, including maternity care,” said Betsey Andrews Parker, chair of the GRCHF Board and CEO of the Community Action Partnership of Strafford County. “We are pleased with the Attorney General’s review, and we support the agreement with HCA Healthcare which increases the GRCHF’s resources available to serve the residents of Strafford County. The GRCHF Board looks forward to working with local partners to put these community assets to use.”
“HCA Healthcare is dedicated to improving care in the Rochester community, and since we acquired Frisbie Memorial Hospital in 2020, we have invested nearly $27 million in upgrading the hospital to ensure the best care for Rochester residents. The reduced number of babies delivered at the hospital and across the region, and the departure of OB/GYN caregivers necessitates the shift of labor and delivery services to our sister Portsmouth Regional Hospital facility and other community caregivers,” said Tim Jones, Frisbie Memorial Hospital chief executive officer. “Our commitment to serving this community has not wavered. In fact, we are planning $12 million in investments in the coming year to ensure the best possible care for Rochester residents. We are also pleased to invest an additional $750,000 into the GRCHF and amend our previous agreements to expedite the GRCHF awarding $2 million in community grants. We hope these further investments in the community healthcare system will ensure seamless care for residents in the Rochester and surrounding areas.”
Under the terms of the agreement, HCA Healthcare has agreed to release certain spending and other restrictions on $2 million currently held by GRCHF so those funds can be made available for grants to the community. In addition, HCA Healthcare has made a $750,000 contribution in new funds to GRCHF that immediately can be used to help with community health needs.
The agreement also closes the review initiated by the New Hampshire Department of Justice into whether the decision of FMH to close labor and delivery services at Frisbie Memorial Hospital violated any conditions in the February 3, 2020, Report of the Director of Charitable Trusts on the Proposed Acquisition Transaction of Frisbie Memorial Hospital. In addition, GRCHF has withdrawn its objection to the decision to cease offering labor and delivery services at the hospital.
GRCHF will make available the processes by which organizations working to help improve the health and well-being of residents in Strafford County may apply for grants.